MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins featured four players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list released Saturday night, as shortstop Royce Lewis (No. 20), Fernando Romero (No. 68), Stephen Gonsalves (No. 78) and Nick Gordon (No. 80) made the list.Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's Draft, is the
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins featured four players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list released Saturday night, as shortstop Royce Lewis (No. 20), Fernando Romero (No. 68), Stephen Gonsalves (No. 78) and Nick Gordon (No. 80) made the list.
Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's Draft, is the club's top prospect and moved up seven spots from last year's midseason Top 100. Romero improved by three spots to become the organization's top pitching prospect, Gonsalves fell by 14 and Gordon dropped 50 spots from being the No. 30 prospect. The Twins are one of 13 teams with at least four prospects among the Top 100.
:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
• MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list
Lewis, 18, is coming off a strong first professional season that saw him reach Class A Cedar Rapids. The shortstop hit a combined .279/.381/.407 with four homers and 18 stolen bases in 54 games between the Gulf Coast League and Class A. He's expected to open the year at Cedar Rapids.
Romero, 23, posted a 3.53 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 45 walks in 125 innings with Double-A Chattanooga. He has some of the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the organization, with a fastball that can reach triple-digits. Romero missed nearly two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery and injuring his knee while rehabbing, but he could make his Major League debut as early as this season. There's a chance the Twins could try to get him to the big leagues quicker as a reliever to get a taste of the Majors, but they still see him as a starter long-term.
Gonsalves doesn't have the ceiling of Romero, but possesses a higher floor as a classic lefty with good control and an impressive changeup to go along with his fastball that sits in the low 90s. He's working to improve his slider and curveball, and he is expected to open the year at Triple-A Rochester with Romero. Gonsalves, 23, has a career 2.39 ERA in the Minors, including a 3.27 ERA last season between Chattanooga and Rochester.
Gordon, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 Draft, is also considered close to the Majors after a strong season at Double-A, hitting .270/.341/.408 with nine homers and 13 stolen bases in 122 games. The Twins still want him to add strength, especially after his numbers fell off in the second half. But Gordon has the tools to stick at shortstop and projects to be a solid contact hitter with high on-base skills. There's a chance he could move to second, but it depends more on what the Twins plan to do with impending free agent James Dozier and shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.